There’ll be music in the air — and lots of pilots, too — in the upcoming lineup for St. Pete Preservation's Movies in the Park, the much-beloved alfresco film series. The movies of May, all on the lawn in Downtown St. Pete's Straub Park, will include an Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant classic (with probably the best Henry Mancini movie theme ever), dancin’ Kevin Bacon, the inimitable Inigo Montoya and Tom Cruise expressing the need for speed.
But first, before the Straub season starts, there's a special Movies in the Park at Midtown presentation on Apr. 27, outdoors at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum: Red Tails, the 2012 docu-drama about the Tuskegee Airmen, the African-American military pilots who fought America's enemies and Army racism during WWII. The film, from George Lucas's production company, received decidedly mixed reviews when it opened, but it also won an NAACP Image Award as the year's outstanding motion picture, and it's got a killer cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Bryan Cranston and many, many more. As with all Movies in the Park presentations, music precedes the screening at 7 p.m. (Trumaine Lamar) and the screening begins when night falls.
Then, on Thursdays in May, watch for:
5/4: Charade. Stanley Donen's 1963 suspenser spawned a whole sub-genre of sophisticated caper flicks with one-word titles (Gambit, Arabesque, et al), but this one's still the best. Audrey Hepburn is (per usual) sublimely chic and achingly vulnerable, and though Cary Grant's old enough to play her father, their flirtation is charming, the Paris locations are romantic, and the villains are actually scary. Music: Rayzilla's Hippie Slayers.
5/11: The Princess Bride. Everybody's favorite fractured fairy tale. Music: Mezzu Mare.
5/18: Take off those Sunday shoes and cut loose, Footloose, with Kevin Bacon, who proves to his uptight conservative town and its uptight conservative minister (John Lithgow!) that dancin' ain't sinnin' especially if Kenny Loggins is involved. Music: The Joe Milligan Project.
5/25: The series returns to the skies with Top Gun, in which Tom Cruise romances Kelly whatshername but you know the real appeal is hopping into the hot seat of his F-14 with his high-flying pals Goose and Iceman. It'll take your breath away! Music: Funk Shui.
Food and drink will be offered for sale by vendors at the screenings, and audiences are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs (or both).